I read a great post on RunNature this morning about how one of the realities of being an outdoor athlete is the accumulation of ‘stuff’ that occurs around the home. As I read the description of how RunNature’s friend Hari had running gear spread around his kitchen, and how RunNature herself has running gear scattered on shelves and in drawers around her home, I found myself nodding knowingly because my home suffers a similar case of ‘outdoor gear explosion’.
So, on the pre-race rest day, let me describe the manic process I go through as I try to pack my gear for various races.
Firstly, there’s the random head torches, gaiters, maps, map case and other assorted gear that I have to collect from a bookshelf in the front room of our home. The collection on this shelf changes on an almost daily basis depending on what I decide to shove on the shelf.
Then there’s my front porch where my wet, muddy or otherwise dirty shoes sit amongst the wind-blown leaves so that they don’t stink up the house as they dry. It occurs to me as I look at this photo that I should probably check my shoes for spiders before wearing them, given the pile of leaves that have accumulated in this spot. Should I admit that this is the first thing people visiting our house see when they come visit?
There’s currently also a pair of wet shoes that I dropped on the spare room floor when I got home last night. I was too lazy to open the door and throw them outside. I didn’t want to put them in our wardrobe because that would only result in everything getting stinked up. Oh but wait, we don’t have many clothes in our wardrobe because most of the clean clothes are … prepare to be horrified … lying on our laundry floor in a big pile because we’ve not found time to put them away.
For adventure racing and Audax events I need to fight my way through the clutter in my garage to get at my bikes and cycling gear. I got my mountain bike serviced (did I mention I got new brakes installed?) earlier in the week and still haven’t quite got around to putting the wheels back on. I’ll do it tomorrow when I take it to the race. I should mention that I sweep my garage once a month but the wind always blows the leaves straight back in. At least the bicycle stuff is now contained to one side of the garage, rather than being even more spread out like it used to be.
The rest of my gear is randomly stored on shelves and in cupboards around the rest of our home. Tents, sleeping bag and hiking pack in the linen closet; hiking stove, gas and billy in the pantry; clothing all over the laundry floor; Goretex jacket in my wardrobe; wet weather pants in my motorcycle top box; my hiking pack and hydro bladder are currently on the floor of my office at work (I must bring them home tonight); First Aid kit in the medicine cabinet (at least that makes sense); kick board and hydro belt in my wardrobe; hats variously dropped around the house.
For a Virgo I sure am messy. I always plan to keep my outdoor gear together in a tidy place, but I’d rather be out training and racing than spending time keeping things neat; so I expect that my gear will just be dropped in puddles for the foreseeable future 🙂
Who else has outdoor gear scattered all over their homes?